2017-02-24 / Letters

Citizens should choose candidates willing to ‘represent’

To the editor:

I applaud Gov. Paul LePage for giving a state of the state speech this year. Many of the points he made were praiseworthy: Concern for the elderly, concern about addiction, jobs, taxes. But the talk was too long. I’d have appreciated his leaving out the protracted, bitter criticism of liberals, but that wasn’t the shocker.

Complaining about the recent referenda passed by the people of Maine, he suggested changing the laws governing initiatives and referenda. He said that since we elect representatives, we are a republic; we are not a democracy. According to my American Heritage Dictionary, democracy is “government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.”

When we pass a referendum, we are acting directly. By empowering the Legislature, we are acting through our elected representatives. A republic is “a constitutional form of government, especially a democratic one.”

We are both a democracy and a republic.

I recall LePage saying last year that he favored Donald Trump as president because we need an authoritarian. When someone pointed out to him that an authoritarian leader would be unconstitutional in the United States, he corrected himself.

Either he didn’t know what he was talking about, or he didn’t believe in the U.S. Constitution. He doesn’t want to bother about what the people of Maine think and work hard to express through democratic institutions such as referenda. Through a Freudian slip, he showed preference for an authoritarian government where men like Donald Trump and himself do what they want without regard for the will of the citizens.

We the people must carefully exercise our right to vote and choose candidates who, regardless of party, truly represent us. Above all, as our government leans toward the authoritarian, we must defend our rights.

Victoria Adams

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